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Social Media and SEO

by Melissa Smich on March 9, 2010

The evolution of internet into Web 2.0 gave birth to another term, social media. So, what exactly is social media? It is media that is capable of dissemination through social interaction between its users, wherein the content is created by using freely accessible and highly scalable techniques of publication. The Internet and numerous web based technologies transform the communication on internet from mere interaction between two individuals into a widespread social occurrence, a media dialogue. It is essentially the “democratization” of information and knowledge on the internet, and transforms consumers of content into producers of content.

Social media devices and techniques can take various forms, such as blogs, forums, microblogging sites (Twitter, Jaiku), social networking sites (Facebook, LinkdIn), social bookmarking websites (StumbleUpon, Delicious), wikis (Wikipedia), photography sharing website (Flickr), video sharing websites (YouTube)

Another recent development has been the increasing use of social media for search engine optimization. In fact, the two terms – social media and search engine optimization – have been combined to produce an entirely new term in the marketing lexicon – social media optimization. This new discipline, social media optimization, or SMO in short, seeks to achieve the benefits through social media. Indeed, SMO is the bridge between SEO and social media.

Just as SEO takes into consideration both on-site (internal) factors and off-site (external) factors, social media optimization (SMO) also has two different components – In-content SMO and Off-Content SMO. In-content SMO constitutes the social media features that are embedded in the content itself. These include features like RRS feeds, polls, images and videos from third parties and ‘Share This’ buttons. Off-site SMO includes features such as blogging and commenting on blogs, participating in forums and discussions and use of social networking sites. The term ‘viral marketing’, which has gained such a currency in the field of internet marketing, is nothing but a form of SMO.

How to do SMO For Your Website

SMO, as a matter of fact, shares many of the characteristics of the SEO process. In many cases, what you need to do for good SEO for your website is also what you need to get good fair SMO results. In brief, to get get SMO benefits for your website, you need to take the following steps -

  1. Add more and more fresh, unique and compelling content, which a lot of people and websites will like to link to. Many gurus like to call this ‘linkbaiting’.
  2. Create content in different formats – blog posts, podcasts, videos, e-books, white papers.
  3. Add “Share This’” buttons to your website and/or blog.
  4. Provide more visibility to blogs/websites that link to your website and content. This is like rewarding those websites that link to you, thus encouraging more inbound links to your website.
  5. Try to gain a complete understanding of your target audience. This will help you to produce suitable content, which will encourage your target audience to share your ideas.
  6. Participate actively in the conversations that your content generates.
  7. Keep it up.

SMO is a a rather new concept, as is social media. The concept will continue to keep evolving over the future, and it will indeed be interesting to monitor its future progress. Whatever may be its outcome, one thing is fairly certain – SMO is an invaluable tool for increasing the visibility and ranking of your website.

Related posts:

  1. Social Media for Small Business Part III: Seven Deadly Sins of Social Media
  2. Using Social Media to Build Traffic for Your Website
  3. Social Media For Small Business – Part II: Tools and Resources For Your Small Business
  4. You just proved that social media networking works!
  5. Social Media for Small Business Part I


TellMeSomethingIDont March 11, 2010 at 4:48 PM

What are the best ways to build Twitter followers?

Chicago SEO March 12, 2010 at 2:00 PM

What about tracking return on investment (ROI) with social media?

Melissa Smich March 29, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Best ways to build twitter followers? I like the answer from one of the twitter founders – Kevin Rose: 10 Ways To Increase Your Twitter Followers

Melissa Smich March 29, 2010 at 4:09 PM

As for ROI…

Tracking ROI is a bit harder since everyone is debating the subject.

Are you measuring simply for sales or does this include awareness?

It’s like PR – you get the NY Times to publish a positive, half page article about you. How do you prove this contributed to any sales?

Here are my top 3, but fot more, check out the links below.
Also, please remember social media is about brands having conversations, personifying them – social traction and social currency.
1. Timeliness – Getting a spike in sales the day after a positive blog post, beginning of an online awareness campaign, etc
2. Analytics – even the most basic analytics tools will define what directed someone to your site and the conversions.
3. Mentions and sentiment – have people started talking about you more? How are people talking about you?

WrigleyF March 7, 2011 at 11:56 AM

If your rate of sales has increased at all since you started using social media strategically, that has to be considered part of the ROI.

Prince Zermic March 16, 2011 at 7:20 AM

Looking at the current scenario social networking in a broad business sense is definitely best and most effective way of drawing potential clients and interest to site. Playing its role in SEO process for any website, it can increase the number of meaningful hits to website. Using this form of social marketing is more effective because it draws customers in a more ethical way. Website promotion through social networking is more like a fun and one won’t have to wait for the result for weeks or months.

PotsNPans July 7, 2011 at 8:13 AM

That was a really interesting link, Melissa. It was especially interesting to learn how powerful hash tags and retweeting can be.

Carlie Borski September 21, 2011 at 8:03 AM

I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images. Maybe you could space it out better? Cheers!

Stoddard October 16, 2011 at 9:37 PM

I haven’t always participated in the conversations on my blog — I hope I haven’t alienated any readers because of it, and I’ll try to do better in the future.

Texas2Step October 25, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Retweeting is certainly an important tool. People love to be retweeted, so it’s a good way to create strategic alliances.

Haraj October 6, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Extremely worthwhile report. Plenty of information to get a extremely newbi just like me.

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